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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Q. Delisting of political parties: Comment on delisting of political parties by election commission of India.
Dec 24, 2016 Related to : GS Paper- 2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Election Commission of India (ECI) has delisted 255 political parties that existed only on paper and not contested any elections since 2005. These parties are accused for money laundering hence ECI has asked to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to initiate appropriate action, if they violated any law. 

Issues-


Many observers raised concerns that some parties are floated mainly to launder money. They are used to avoid tax by making a contribution by cheque, the amount being tax-deductible for the donor and receive it back in cash.

Analysis-

  • In India there are 1,786 registered, unrecognised parties exists, besides seven national political parties and 58 state parties. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Tamil Nadu house the bulk of these parties.
  • Only a quarter of the registered parties participated in the 2009 and 2014 general elections. As many as 255 political parties were not contested any elections since 2005. Political parties not being amenable to scrutiny as to how precisely they spent their money. 
  • As these parties exists only on papers. They are accused for converted black money into white, as they can accept money in the form of cash, later it can pay back by cheque for some fictitious service.
  • In this background ECI’s decision to delist these companies and withdrawing their income tax exemptions is indeed much needed.
  • But delisting alone will not halt the practice of all political parties mopping up huge amounts of poll funds through unaccounted contributions, there an urgent need to establish transparent process in funding of political parties.

Suggestions-

  • Though every registered parties are supposed to file their returns along with their audited accounts, but compliance to tax laws alone will not suffice. Every political party must mandatorily reveal its spending and sources of financing those expenses.
  • Declaring their monthly expenses and showing their sources of income will make them more transparent and other political parties and watchdog bodies must be made free to challenge the figure, if they found mischief.

Conclusion-

The ECI’s decision to delist 255 political parties on the account that they have not contested any elections since 2015 is welcome move. As these parties are accused of money laundering, hence income tax authority must initiate actions against these if they found any illegality. But there need of larger reforms, as political parties accounts are not transparent, hence there is an urgent need to introduce funding and spending reforms among political parties. 


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